Everyone likes a good thrill—that fun scare.
It’s why haunted houses are so popular, and why horror movies often have the same appeal.
When it comes to Halloween costumes, many people enjoy the spooky kind over the fun or sexy ones. While I imagine that the “It” clown costume will be popular this year (I hate clowns!), there are at least 10 truly scary characters for Halloween we should all avoid due to the incredibly horrific, terrifying nature of each one.
- Misogynist: This one is truly terrifying, and it can be worn by men or women. These characters like to tell us what’s appropriate for men versus women. They’re quick to perpetuate the idea that women are somehow more fragile, more emotional, and less capable than men—because of their genitalia. This costume comes complete with internalized sexism (for women), locker room talk (for men), and an inability to grasp the changing social dynamic.
- Mansplainer: This character is equally maddening and horrific! Women will recognize these costumes by their most common accessory—the confidence that they know more about everything than women ever will. The most horrifying of these will explain menstrual cycles, pregnancy, child birth, parenting, hormones, and even sexual harassment from the lofty height of their own arrogance (and ignorance).
- Creepy Perv: We’re calling this one the Harvey Weinstein this year, but we could equally call it the Donald Trump, Bill O’Reilly, or James Toback—just to start. Sexual harassment and assault are never okay! These characters (who can be men or women) don’t keep their hands to themselves, make comments of a sexual nature that make others feel uncomfortable or unsafe, use power and position to manipulate and coerce, and can’t keep it in their pants. This character is truly appalling!
- Male Fragility: This character cannot hear about women’s rights without saying “not all men” or “men, too.” Their insistence on being included in nearly every conversation is a hallmark of this frightening costume. Also, being insensitive and incapable of listening to any dialogue that does not include them is another warning sign of this terrible creature. Discussing injustice against women and other similar subjects may incite them to anguish and cries of discrimination against—you guessed it!—themselves or others like them.
- Cultural Appropriation: This covers a wide range of costumes terrifying in their tone-deaf portrayal of actual, often disenfranchised people. This costume lacks cultural sensitivity and can be downright offensive. Portraying other races or cultures is the primary sign of this. Accessories may include the Native American headdress, hairstyles common to another race, or clothing that identifies a particular religion.
- White Nationalist or White Feminist: This person may come bearing a Confederate flag and concerns about discrimination against white people. This person is markedly unconcerned with the oppression of all other groups of people. Sadly, some of these people may carry a Bible or other religious text, but do not be misled: they are not representative of religious or spiritual people. These characters are dangerous because their costume might blend in with the environment, but their actions show disregard for people who are not like them. The White Feminist is particularly known for being unable to connect oppression where it concerns race and is dismissive of the feminist issues of people of color.
- Common Litterbug: This character is as obnoxious as the common cold. This costume’s primary accessory is the wearer’s disregard for the environment. Halloween candy wrappers are tossed carelessly on the ground. Other items that may be discarded include beverage cans, unwanted candy, and costume accessories that become cumbersome. They may be tiny humans, but they are often accompanied by litterbug enablers who do not teach them to do better. This character may come in a cute disguise with an innocent face, but this disregard for the earth should be considered horrifying in its own right!
Halloween is a time for good fun and celebration, and having a good scare can be a part of this. But it can be easy to cross the line from good scare to poor taste if we don’t think about the more global affects of our actions.
There are so many intriguing Halloween costumes to choose from. Don’t let these seven make your list of costume ideas!
Author: Crystal Jackson
Image: Mark Dixon/Flickr
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Copy Editor: Callie Rushton
Social Editor: Waylon Lewis